The Big Five are the most ferocious and dangerous animals in the world. The grouping refers to the elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion. When embarking safaris in Kenya, tourists aspire to spot all five. But equally (if not more) important an experience to have in the country is eating your way through the Big Five of Kenyan cuisine.
The kitchen is a wilderness of flavors and textures, and venturing through these five Kenyan foods is not a decision you’ll regret.
Used to scoop up other runny foods (read: beans), you’ll see this staple product on almost all plates. You simply boil water and pour maize flour into the pot. Easy to make and even easier to eat: rip a piece from this soft but dense ball of food, squish it with the palm of your hand, poke a hole with your thumb, and dip it into any other food on your plate.
In Kenya, beans really are the magical fruit. A powerful source of protein, they’re always offered alongside other orders. They’re a small part of your plate, but do not underestimate their abilities. And the tomato juice beans are most commonly cooked in are easily absorbed by ugali, which is a truly beautiful marriage of flavors.
The work of an artist. If your rolled dough doesn’t form a perfect circle, you have to start over again. Once achieved, the cooking begins, and you must continuously add oil to each side until it gets that crispy golden color on both sides. For either a savory snack or an alternate bean-scooping vessel, chapati is ideal.
4. Sukuma Wiki
Don’t forget about your veggies. Vegetables are another main component of the Kenyan dish, specifically this fun-to-say species of kale called sukuma wiki. Boiled in hot water and cooked with onions, sukuma wiki makes for a perfect nutritional balance to your plate.
Throw away your Dunkin’ Donuts and try the Kenyan version. These fried, fluffy pastries pair fabulously with morning coffee or tea. Grab, dip, bite and repeat. Whether you eat them plain or add sugar on top, you’ll start the day off on a sweet, satisfying note.